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Letter to the editor: Priorities for the city should include the basics

Jefferson Bus Lines comes to town twice a day. At 1:40 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. they drive to the bus stop at the corner of 1st Street West and 1st Avenue South to pick up and drop off people. The only thing at our “bus stop” is a public bench that is nearby. There is not even an X to mark the spot.

Hampton Inn & Suites has a nice smoking shelter — a roof, three sides and a bench — for its employees just west of the hotel. It is nothing fancy but it works.

It’s nice that Hampton just doesn’t tell its employees to go outside to a “spot” on the sidewalk in the back and “that’s where you huff and puff.” It’s called respect.

And this winter, which was cold and icy, many residents in the Gardenette area of town could not leave to have coffee in the morning or go to the laundromat for several weeks because of the extreme ice conditions. I sent an email to Mayor Katie Andersen to at least take a drive around the Gardenette area to see for herself how slippery the streets were, but she never replied. I thought she might request a sand truck to aid the residents. Many of the residents there are elderly and some have physical or mental disabilities so who cares? They are not going to vote. There is no respect for them.

And be careful when you go over the bridge by Hardee’s, especially if you have a motorcycle, because the middle of the street is rippled with holes. You will see the same thing if you go down 2nd Avenue Southeast in the same area. The 10 to 12 inches from the curb is not drivable, especially for a motorcycle or bicycle. Quite a few streets are like that in town.

On the other hand, the street department has done a great job with painting the crosswalks. They have a few to go but we have a lot of crosswalks.

We are getting a Menards. Somehow that seems to have taken priority over more basic things like fixing the streets and taking care of people.

I just came back from a second mission trip to Peru. When you see the extreme poverty the Peruvians face every day it knocks some of the arrogance out of you, if you let it. You become more thankful to the God who created you when you find out about one in five people in developing regions lives on less than $1.25 per day, which is a statistic that appeared in the United Nations 2014 Millennium Development Goals Report.

I like Jamestown. It’s a nice town.